Welcome to the conversation!

Welcome to the conversation!

Harriet Beecher Stowe's (1811-1896) best-selling anti-slavery novel Uncle Tom's Cabin (1852), made her the most famous American woman of the 19th century and galvanized the abolition movement before the Civil War.

The Stowe Center is a 21st-century museum and program center using Stowe's story to inspire social justice and positive change.

The Salons at Stowe programs are a forum to connect the challenging issues (race, gender and class) that impelled Stowe to write and act with the contemporary face of those same issues. The Salon format is based on a robust level of audience participation, with the explicit goal of promoting civic engagement. Recent topics included: Teaching Acceptance; Is Prison the New Slavery; Traces of the Trade: A Story from the Deep North; Creativity and Change; Race, Gender and Politics Today; How to be an Advocate

This blog will expand the reach of these community conversations to the online audience. Add your posts and comments to keep the conversation going! Commit to action by clicking HERE to stay up to date on Salon and social justice news.

For updates on Stowe Center programs and events, sign up for our enews at http://harrietbeecherstowe.org/email.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Fighting for an Inclusive Democracy with International Day of Persons with Disabilities #IDPD

As sanctioned by the United Nations General Assembly ruling 47/3, December 3rd serves as the annual International Day of Persons with Disabilities. With an estimated one billion individuals living with a disability, the day serves the purpose of honoring individuals with disabilities and recognizing the need for greater awareness and action on issues of accessibility and equality.


Threaded in the history of the Disability Rights Movement, is the fight to gain access and protection from established social institutions that so readily serve able-bodied individuals. Like many other marginalized communities, whether it be racial, gender, or sexual minorities, individuals with disabilities have long fought to gain equal benefit from the health care, education, and criminal justice systems that characterize our democracy.  

The history of the Disability Rights Movement is often not explored in classroom contexts. Why not? How does it connect with other civil and social rights movements? When we think of contemporary events, like the failure to indict the police officers who killed Michael Brown and Eric Garner, how do we hold the failed institutions at the base of these issues accountable? Specifically, how do we hold institutions accountable for serving individuals who are not able-bodied?    

For further reading, check out the Zinn Education Project's list of teacher resources designed to engage students on the history of individuals with disabilities. And if you are an able-bodied individual, try thinking about the services and institutions you would not be able to access-whether physical, like gaining immediate entry into a multi-floor office, or political-like seeing individuals that look like you in government, if you were not able-bodied.   

1 comment:

Braxton said...

Interesting. Accessibility is something many people take for granted.